As the Republican Teaparty has taught us since Barack Obama won the presidency, the background of a candidate is completely fair game — particularly if that background doesnot involve the candidate’s ancestors being passengers aboard the Mayflower (and specifically if one’s ancestors are any race other than white). Fact: these are the people Romney panders to.
The write-up wraps with this: “Romney’s father, George, was born in Mexico and moved to the United States as a child. He went on to become the governor of Michigan.” Which… doesn’t tell us what’s being discussed. Let’s go back to what Schweitzer told Jacobs.
While discussing swing states, Schweitzer said Romney would have a “tall order to position Hispanics to vote for him,” and I replied that was mildly ironic since Mitt’s father was born in Mexico, giving the clan a nominal claim to being Hispanic. Schweitzer replied that it is “kinda ironic given that his family came from a polygamy commune in Mexico, but then he’d have to talk about his family coming from a polygamy commune in Mexico, given the gender discrepancy.” Women, he said, are “not great fans of polygamy, 86 percent were not great fans of polygamy. I am not alleging by any stretch that Romney is a polygamist and approves of [the] polygamy lifestyle, but his father was born into [a] polygamy commune in Mexico.”
Schweitzer did not say that Romney’s “dad’s dad was a polygamist.” He said that Romney’s dad was born into a “polygamy commune in Mexico.” This is true. In the 1880s, Miles Romney — the great-grandfather of the current GOP candidate — established a commune in Mexico with the express purpose of allowing the church to continue that practice after the United States cracked down on it. Miles took another wife in 1897, while living in the colony. Gaskell Romney, his son, didn’t engage in plural marriage. So both Romney and Schweitzer, talking past each other, are right.
Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) is causing a bit of a stir with his comment that Mitt Romney’s family came from a “polygamy commune.”
In an interview with the Daily Beast on Thursday, the outspoken governor suggested Romney could identify with Latinos better if he talked about his family’s roots in Mexico.
It’s “kinda ironic, given that his family came from a polygamy commune in Mexico, but then he’d have to talk about his family coming from a polygamy commune in Mexico, given the gender discrepancy,” Schweitzer said. (Schweitzer noted that women, in particular, object to polygamy, or the practice of having multiple wives.)
[…] The truth is that Romney should be able to draw on his personal history for ammunition to fight back on issues such as the Latino vote and his image as a fat-cat businessman. But in both cases, fighting back would require reminding people that he’s a Mormon.
Romney has given more than $11 million to charity over the past 12 years, but 80 percent of it went to the Mormon Church, according to a recent Boston Globe report. So even if Romney wanted to talk about the $1.8 million that went to other causes, he would probably have to broach the Mormon issue — at least a little bit.
What if we request that Willard Romney educate us all a little better on his full family history and his religious faith: Mormonism — and by the same exacting standards and with all the careful insight, civility, and respect as was provided by the base of his own party.
In 2008, Romney calls Osama bin Ladin “Barack Obama” –
More from Romney:
“Unfortunately, possibly because of the people the president hangs around with, and their agenda, their secular agenda – they have fought against religion,” Romney said. [Feb/2012]
“I think there is in this country a war on religion. I think there is a desire to establish a religion in America known as secularism. … We are now all Catholics. Those of us who are people of faith recognize this is — an attack on one religion is an attack on all religion. It’s one more reason we need to get rid of Obamacare. It’s also one more reason we need to get rid of Obama.” [Romney, Apr/2012]
Romney’s Message: Obama’s Not a Real American | David Corn – Romney doesn’t call Obama a commie. He doesn’t question his birthplace. He doesn’t say the president is a criminal. He doesn’t suggest he’s Muslim-y. He doesn’t declare that Obama hates America or harbors anti-American views. But Romney has welcomed the backing of those who make these types of claims, and he has even courted these over-the-top Obama foes (as he did with Nugent, after the gun-lovin’, aging rocker had violently threatened Obama and Hillary Clinton). He legitimizes and exploits those who engage in Obama hate-mongering and who debase the political discourse Romney claims to care about. More important, with his own words, Romney has attempted to reinforce the notion that Obama is not truly part of the nation he leads. He has mainstreamed the Obama-ain’t-really-American meme of the right. And that is hardly civil.